Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

This content originally appeared here. Republished with permission.

Summer cookouts are back, baby! And I’m celebrating by cooking all the good stuff, like this purple cabbage and carrot slaw.

It’s crunchy, sweet, lightly spicy, and tangy, so it hits all the high points, and it’s just perfect on a hot summer day. Best of all, there’s almost no work required to make it–just prep the veggies, mix, and enjoy!

Now if you know me, you probably already know I’m a fan of bright side dishes. I make some good ones, too, like my broccoli slawpickled cabbage, or corn salsa, and more!

But today, since I’m grilling pork tenderloin, I’ll be making this cabbage slaw to serve with it. The creamy, tangy dressing goes beautifully with a rich bbq sauce, and the crunchy veggies perfectly compliment the tender meat.

Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

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Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

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This purple cabbage and carrot slaw is a crunchy, tangy, and lightly spicy side dish, perfect for summer cookouts!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cabbage
Servings 6 servings
Calories 107kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 purple cabbage medium
  • 3 carrots medium
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeño
  • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro minced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup mayo or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Use a mandolin or sharp knife to thinly slice the cabbage. Use a box grater to shred the carrots.
  • Mince the red onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro.
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine and mix the slaw well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Keep the coleslaw covered and refrigerated until you're ready to eat! For best results, let it sit for at least 2 hours.

Notes

To store leftovers: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If using homemade mayonnaise, consume within 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5935IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Purple Cabbage and Carrot Slaw Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Bethany’s Story: My Eye Started Bleeding the Day My First Child Was Born

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

By Ginger Vieira

“My first bleed was almost 12 years ago — the day my first baby was born,” explains Bethany, who’s lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 40 years, since she was 3 years old.

Despite receiving preventative laser treatments to the concerning blood vessels in this area of her eye prior to and throughout her pregnancy, the stress of pregnancy and pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) were enough to cause them to bleed.

“There was a bunch of trauma around that, because the bleed was the catalyst for me to have an emergency c-section. That was the biggest bleed I’ve had and it took a long time to clear up.”

Since then, Bethany has experienced minor bleeds off and on, but has also gone long stretches of time without any new bleeds.

Ginger Vieira

Image Source: Beyond Type 1

“Last October I had another bad one,” says Bethany. “It was so discouraging, because I haven’t had any new abnormal vessel growth, I’m not pregnant, I don’t have blood pressure issues, and my A1C is stellar. It just happened.”

“It’s cleared up since then without traditional treatments like a vitrectomy or steroid shots, but it took quite a while because it leaked more blood and fluid for a few weeks after the initial burst,” she adds. “At this point, I’d say I’m back to where I was pre-October in terms of vision, but maybe it’s a bit messier.”

My Experience With Laser Treatments for Retinopathy

“I’ve only had laser treatments,” says Bethany, who’s been able to manage her retinopathy without more invasive treatments.

“I’m not sure the experience qualifies as ‘pain’ so much as ‘misery’. It’s horribly uncomfortable, and it does begin to be painful as the treatment goes on, but it’s not what I’d describe as particularly painful.”

Eventually, Bethany says she used a low dose of a mild sedative to help take the anxiety out of receiving laser treatments. While it can’t change how it feels physically, it can help make the overall experience a bit less stressful.

“It’s hard to catch your breath, and it feels like being tortured, and my eyes pour with tears, but it’s all more of a dull feeling other than a bit of a sensation that a rubber band is being snapped behind your eye.”

Parenting a Newborn With Low Vision

“Nursing a baby and not being able to see her face clearly when she’s on your left side was heartbreaking,” recalls Bethany.

“Struggling to read a book to a child, wondering if you’ll have another bad bleed when you’re at the store with your child, not being able to lift an older child because it might exacerbate the bleed—it all sucked.”

Fortunately, by the time her second pregnancy began, Bethany’s eyes were ready.

“It was so much easier,” she says. “No pre-eclampsia, no eye issues. It was such a relief after being so terrified to try it all a second time.”

Today, she says she’s careful how much to share with her children about her eye complications.

“After my recent bad bleed, it was my oldest daughter (the one who was born the day of my first bleed) who held me while I sobbed, because she was ready to support me,” recalls Bethany. “That was so bittersweet and beyond meaningful.”

What My Vision Is Like Today

“I wouldn’t say I live with ‘low vision’ today but there is a blobby mess in one eye,” explains Bethany. “My brain has learned to adapt, and I can see around it. I don’t read super fine print very well, but I’m not sure I would even without retinopathy since I’m getting old!”

However, Bethany would say she did have low vision for a period of time — and it wasn’t easy.

“After those two bad bleeds, I did have trouble with the vision in one eye for a while, until the blood cleared. That was hard, but I’m grateful it wasn’t long-term.”

However she says that it’s also affected her life in other ways when there are bleeds.

“My eyes feel strained, I have headaches, and I definitely don’t feel comfortable driving until the bleeding has cleared up.”

The worry and anticipation of a potential new bleed feels like a ticking time bomb.

“I try not to think about what my vision could be like later in life, but I do wonder if I’ll be able to see my grandkids clearly, and if I should retire early so I can make the most of my later years while I still have vision. In day-to-day life it’s pretty minimal, but in terms of mental/emotional load it’s huge and it’s always there.”

How My Diabetes Management Has Changed

“I smartened up with my diabetes management big time since the first time the doc saw something in my eye,” explains Bethany. “Since that day I’ve been highly motivated to do this well.”

Having lived with type 1 diabetes since age 3 in the 1980s with early glucose meter technology and insulin options were severely limited, Bethany feels quite sure the first 25 years of her life with diabetes led to the complications in her eyes.

“My A1c was usually in the low double digits when I was a child, because avoiding low blood sugars was considered the safest way to manage diabetes in a young child back then,” says Bethany.

By the time she was in her 20s, technology and advancements in insulin helped her manage an A1c in the 7s and 8s. Once she started using an insulin pump, she was able to maintain an A1c below 7.0 during both pregnancies.

“I’ve always, always, tried really hard with my diabetes,” adds Bethany, “but it was like I spent 25 years trying to solve a puzzle that finally started to come together in the last 15 with a pump, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and eating low-carb.”

While Bethany used an insulin pump for 5 years, she’s managed her diabetes with MDI (multiple daily injections) for the last 8 years, and maintained an A1c below 7 percent, and around 5.8 percent for the last year.

“Using a pump, two pregnancies, and eating mostly low-carb definitely taught me so much more than I knew before I used an insulin pump,” explains Bethany. “But I was having a lot of issues with scar tissue which made infusion sites for pumping complicated. And I hated being tethered to my pump.”

The mental game of diabetes, she adds, is a huge part of it.

“There’s always a fear lurking that it could happen again at any time. More so since this last one,” says Bethany. “You never really escape it because you never know that you’re safe. You can do everything right from a certain point on, but the damage is already done.”

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Remember, Your Time in Range Isn’t a Grade Either

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Eliza Skoler

Time in Range (TIR) is another number for people with diabetes to pay attention to and use to improve their daily diabetes management. We talked with three women in the diabetes community about how they use TIR as a helpful number to keep them on track and inform their care.

Time in Range (TIR) is a helpful tool that captures the highs, lows, and in-range glucose values that characterize life with diabetes. TIR can help people understand how their daily habits and behaviors affect glucose levels, so they can use this information to feel better and reduce glucose swings. But it’s also another measurement to keep track of – and the goal is to look at it as a number and not have it loaded with emotion or negativity if it falls short of your goal.

For many people, it can be challenging to get past seeing glucose levels as “tests” and A1C checks as “grades.” But as Adam Brown explains, blood sugars are just numbers – they are neither good nor bad, but rather they are information that will help you make a decision about your diabetes. Click here to read about how Adam transformed how he views diabetes data. Seeing your A1C level as a grade can actually cause harm – some people are demotivated to take care of their diabetes when they feel they are frequently failing. Renza Scibilia and Chris Aldred write more about this in “What’s Your Grade?

Enter Time in Range (TIR), the percentage of time that a person spends with their glucose levels in their target range. TIR is a powerful tool to assess patterns in glucose levels throughout the day and over time, and this can help inform lifestyle changes and treatment decisions in a way that A1C cannot. People with diabetes should aim to spend as much time in their target range as possible.

With the TIR number comes the risk that people may see it as yet another test of their diabetes management. It might be another mark that tells them they are not measuring up.

“When I read about Time in Range, it was a bit scary at first, simply because it seemed like it was a ‘grade,’ like you would get in school, so I didn’t want to think of it too much because my own fear of failure is high,” said Sarah Knotts who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 32 years. She has two young children and works with mySugr as the US Head of Customer Support.

Stacey

Image source: diaTribe

Stacey Simms agreed. Simms is the host of Diabetes Connections and author of The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom: Real Life Stories of Parenting a Child with Type 1 Diabetes. Her son Benny was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2006, right before he turned two.

“It’s easy to look at TIR and other diabetes markers as a judgment on your value as a person. I think there’s a bit of a danger in looking at these markers as anything but math and management tools” she told us. “Less TIR doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or worth less than a person with more TIR. I don’t know how we can keep these tools from weighing on the mental burden of diabetes, but I do think being aware they can have this effect is a good first step.”

Headshot

Image source: diaTribe

Knotts now uses TIR regularly. “My biggest hurdle to get past was that I equated TIR to being a grade – as if I was turning in a term paper or project and those percentages related to a letter grade,” she said. “Just as your A1C is not an accurate picture of your control, a TIR is also not a complete picture either. Yes, I have a range that I want my TIR to be, but I’m not focusing on one average number, or one A1C target. I’ve been able to learn that if I can keep my numbers close to the target range, everything else (A1C, standard deviation) tends to also be better, and I feel better overall.”

Christel Oerum, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19 and created Diabetes Strong with her husband in 2015, thinks about TIR both every day and in a long-term sense.

Christel

Image source: diaTribe

“I use TIR daily in the sense that I aim for glucose levels in my target range (70-160 mg/dL, but I don’t focus on always meeting a daily TIR goal, as I think that’s too stressful and not realistic,” she said. “There are going to be days where I’m in range most of the day and days where I’m not, and for me, that’s okay. I do have a monthly TIR goal that I’d like to see myself hit, but that’s more of a retrospective analysis.”

Oerum acknowledged how easy it is to get obsessed with making TIR goals. “For me, that’s not healthy, which is why I try to not use TIR as a daily goal but rather as an overall indicator of whether I should make changes to my care,” she said. “TIR is not a grade or score. It’s a tool to help you manage your diabetes to the best of your ability.”

Simms’ family focuses less on the actual numbers (like TIR and A1C) and more on helping Benny thrive with diabetes: “I spend a lot less time working on TIR than on things like fostering independence, teaching Benny to trouble shoot and helping him advocate for himself. TIR is a great tool to check on for trends and adjustments, but we don’t use it very often. I wouldn’t want Benny checking TIR every day or even more than once a week unless he was really tweaking settings or trying something new.”

We don’t want TIR to be scary or intimidating. At diaTribe, our hope is that more and more people will be able to use TIR in a non-judgmental and informative way, helping themselves and their families lead healthier lives. Oerum summed it up well. “TIR for me means more details on how my management is going and can help me hone in on what to change and what to leave alone. Diabetes can’t be about perfection, and just as my A1C isn’t a grade of my effort, neither is my TIR.”

This article is part of a series on time in range.

The diaTribe Foundation, in concert with the Time in Range Coalition, is committed to helping people with diabetes and their caregivers understand time in range to maximize patients’ health. Learn more about the Time in Range Coalition here.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

One-pan dinners are a go-to for family night, but in most cases a bit too real for guests. This recipe will change your dinner parties. Hearty Swiss chard leaves wrap a savory treasure of salmon and snappy vegetables bathed in lemon-thyme butter. Recyclable foil packets jazz up the presentation and keep everything in place, while minimizing cleanup so you can spend time with friends outside your kitchen. Perfect al fresco with fresh greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

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Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

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Hearty Swiss chard leaves wrap a savory treasure of salmon and snappy vegetables bathed in lemon-thyme butter. 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword fish, one-pan, salmon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 405kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thyme chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel grated
  • 8 pcs large Swiss chard leaves center stems trimmed. Remove stem to the leaf edge creating a solid surface
  • 2 cups summer squash sliced
  • 2 cups green beans trimmed
  • 4 6- ounce salmon fillets skinned
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup lemon sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine butter, chives, lemon juice, thyme and lemon peel.
  • Set lemon-thyme butter aside.
  • Tear four 12×12 squares of aluminum foil.
  • Working in batches, overlap two trimmed chard leaves stem-to-stem, making a rectangle.
  • Place arranged chard on each foil square.
  • Layer ½ cup summer squash and ½ cup green beans on each chard base.
  • Add one 6-ounce salmon fillet.
  • Sprinkle each fillet with ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • Dot each with one tablespoon lemon-thyme butter, topping with a lemon slice.
  • Fold bottom chard leaf over each fillet, follow with the top.
  • Holding closed, fold aluminum foil, creating a sealed packet.
  • Place prepared packets on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake until salmon reaches 145 degrees, approximately 12-15 minutes.
  • Open packets and serve.

Notes

* Naturally low-carb & gluten-free

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 552mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Community Table: Women’s Health and Living Empowered with Diabetes

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.

During our third Community Table discussion, Beyond Type 1 sat down with a group of experts and community members to discuss women’s health and living an empowered life with diabetes within both the type 1 and type 2 communities, and share helpful resources and personal perspectives. Watch the discussion in full!



Speakers included:

Partial transcript of conversation below, edited for content + clarity.

What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about women’s health and diabetes?

Dr. Gomber: It’s okay to not strike that perfection of 100%. It’s absolutely all right if you can’t figure out how to deal with everything, including your hormones. As a person living with type 1 diabetes and as a trained physician, I realized it by trial and error by realizing that hormones are something which I need to adjust, make a balance myself.

Lexie: There are so many things that can affect your body in so many different ways. Nobody ever really explained to me what insulin resistance was, and everything that can come from insulin resistance. I recently got diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) at the beginning of 2020 and it’s been a crazy journey. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant and for the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve had irregular menstrual cycles. I just thought it was normal.

Doctors never put two and two together for me that PCOS and insulin resistance are linked in a lot of cases. Years ago, when I was in college, I had an endo tell me, “Hey, you’re showing signs of insulin resistance.” But he never said anything else. I thought, “Okay. Well, my A1C isn’t that bad so I’m good.” I never made any changes because I didn’t know what that actually meant.

Whenever I was going to see my OBGYNs they never really connected the dots for me either. When I said I was having irregular cycles it was just, “Okay, well let’s put you on birth control.” It wasn’t, “Maybe this is linked to your diabetes.” I never had any idea until I went and did my own research.

Jessica: How many people actually have diabetes, and I wish I would have told myself to reach out to other people with diabetes sooner. When quarantine hit, I made an Instagram just so I could talk to other people because I’m the only one with type 1 and no one in my family has type 2. It seemed like I was an outsider sometimes and I really needed to know that I am not alone in this.

Marina: Diabetes management is much more than counting carbs, then giving insulin, and having a blood sugar of 110. It is so much more than that. It is emotional health, it is wellbeing, it’s so much more. Sometimes we want to have a feeling of control, and we control the food or we control whatever thing we can. That’s really the beauty of what I do is ask how we can have a positive relationship, and a holistic view in how we eat.

What should people know if they’re heading into the age of menopause that might help them out a little bit with that?

Dr. Porter: It is important to understand everyone’s body is going to react very differently to menopause, and you need to be your own advocate with your OBGYN to tell her that things are not going right. They might need to adjust your blood sugar management routine because it’s counterproductive.

When it comes to menopause, there is this one massive hormone called progesterone which acts as a complete monster when it comes to blood sugars. Progesterone actually increases your blood sugars. You need to adjust your insulin regimen to understand how your body is going to react to progesterone. Also, during menopause, there are other additional things that you can incorporate into your regimen like incorporating exercise or yoga. Which will improve your insulin sensitivity and help incorporate that resistance that is coming up with progesterone in your body.

What’s a challenge that you’ve faced that taught you how strong you are as a woman living with diabetes?

Marina: I just bring it back to pregnancy. I think that’s been my most challenging moment because again, I’ve studied. It wasn’t necessarily new to me, but these are new human beings. Once they were born, it was like, “Wow, you’re healthy.” That is all that matters, nothing else. That really proved to me how resilient people with type 1 diabetes are. We really have an extra skill, like we have two brains. We’re able to not just manage our blood sugar, but also be a mom, be a doctor, be a wife, be all of these different things on top of all of the demands of diabetes.

Lexie: There have been different phases years of my life that always reminds me how strong I am. So, the first thing was looking back at the time I didn’t realize it, but Aussie kids, little young kids on Instagram, like giving themselves an injection or changing their pump site. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, they’re so young.” And then I’m like, “Let’s see. You were doing this same thing.” Then I’ve given myself insulin while driving. I inject it, and in my mind, before I would go somewhere, I’m already calculating, “Okay, I’m going to be gone for this long. Let me go ahead and get this number of snacks.”

Growing up with a chronic illness, it forces you to have compassion for any and everybody which has helped me be able to support others. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt more accepted and loved by a community like the diabetes community. It just teaches you to love people.

A question from a community member: “I was diagnosed at age 41. I’m now 44. I also live with Hashimoto’s. I’ve been using Dexcom for a year and the Tandem pumps in september. Will I ever learn my body?”

Jessica: Yes, you will! Obviously my experience is different than yours, but you just got to take it day by day. Again, find someone who is just like you. There’s someone else out there dealing with the same thing.

Lexie: I agree that you will learn your body, but also know that your body is going to change all throughout your life and diabetes is literally a journey. You’re never going to get to like a destination where it’s like, “Okay, I’ve got it. I’m good for the rest of my life.” That’s why it’s definitely important to connect with other people who are going to be with you on this journey literally for the rest of your life. Because your body is always changing. Like everybody has said, it makes such a huge difference to feel like you’re not alone.

Lala: You’ve only had diabetes for three years, you’re a baby. There are things that you’re going to keep learning for a very long time. I’ve had type one for 23 years. As you know, I just learned new things from this conversation. There’s always a learning curve and the learning curve is long. Have patience with yourself.

Marina: Sometimes it just takes either a visit to somebody that knows to say, “Hey, have you noticed this, this and that?” And it might take somebody that might have that experience or that education or that has gone through the same thing to say, “I did not know that.”

So just know that there are people that are educators, doctors, or people that have diabetes that could just help you out in a professional way as well to say, “Hey, look at your Dexcom. This is what’s happening. Have you noticed this?”

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Heart Failure – The Overlooked Diabetes Complication, Part 1: What and Why?

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Ben Pallant

Learn what heart failure is, what it has to do with diabetes, and how to identify and talk about this complication that’s often less discussed.

Healthcare professionals often discuss diabetes complications such as vision loss (retinopathy), chronic kidney disease (nephropathy), and cardiovascular disease (referred to as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by healthcare professionals). However, there is a less talked about heart complication, heart failure. Heart failure refers to a condition where the heart’s ability to pump blood is less than normal, often meaning not enough blood is effectively circulating to the rest of the body.

This is part one of a two-part series on heart failure and diabetes.

What is heart failure?

First, it’s important to differentiate heart failure from other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, a heart attack, or cardiac arrest. There is also the broad term “heart disease,” which can encompass any heart issue. Because the names can get confusing, here are some brief explanations:

  • Cardiovascular disease, or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, is related to the process called atherosclerosis, which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in your arteries making it difficult for blood to flow normally. The plaque buildup can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, smoking, or a number of other reasons. When it builds up in the arteries that supply blood to heart muscles or the brain, a heart attack or stroke can occur. Read our article on diabetes and heart disease here.
  • In a heart attack, the blood flow (and the oxygen supply, since blood carries oxygen throughout the body) to the heart muscle is blocked, causing damage to the heart muscle.
  • Heart failure happens when the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
  • Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of heart function. Usually due to an issue with the heart’s electrical system that disrupts a regular heartbeat, cardiac arrest causes the heart to stop pumping blood to the rest of the body.

There are a number of reasons why heart failure can occur, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, previous heart attacks, or other conditions and structural issues that damage the heart muscle (like cardiomyopathy or heart valve problems). Your chances of developing heart failure also increase as you get older. The heart’s inability to pump enough blood usually happens in one of two ways:

  1. When the heart muscle becomes stiff, the chambers in the heart cannot relax. This decreases the fill capacity of your heart chambers. Nevertheless, the heart is still able to release more than 50% of the blood in the heart chamber to the rest of the body. This type of heart failure is called “heart failure with preserved ejection fraction,” or HFpEF.
  2. When the heart muscle becomes weaker, not enough blood goes out to the body with each heartbeat. Thus, the percentage of blood that is released to the body is less than 50% of the amount in the heart chamber. This type of heart failure is called “heart failure with reduced ejection fraction,” or HFrEF.

Diabetes and prediabetes have been associated with both types of heart failure. Heart failure overall is a widespread health challenge – over 6 million Americans live with heart failure, and it leads to about 1 million hospitalizations per year in the US.

Heart failure is usually a chronic condition that progresses over time. At first, people may not experience any physical symptoms at all because the body has ways of trying to compensate – the heart may become bigger, it could develop more muscle mass, or it could try to pump faster. Over time though, heart failure worsens leading to shortness of breath, fatigue, inability to exercise, and more. Eventually the heart’s decreased ability to pump blood causes fluid to build up in other parts of the body, including the legs and lungs, which makes ordinary things like breathing and walking difficult. This is called congestive heart failure (CHF).

To learn more about heart failure, check out the American Heart Association’s heart failure resources.

What does heart failure have to do with diabetes?

Heart failure is unfortunately one of the most common and deadly complications of diabetes, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. They are two to four times more likely to develop heart failure than people without diabetes, and having diabetes increases a person’s risk for repeat hospitalizations for heart failure. This is partly because many of the key risk factors for heart failure are common in people with type 2 diabetes, such as a body mass index (BMI) over 25 (click here for a BMI calculator), high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or a history of a heart attack. Other risk factors for heart failure include heart valve problems, sleep apnea, lung disease, and smoking.

But the shared risk factors alone don’t explain everything – diabetes itself is an independent risk factor for heart failure. According to several research studies, each percentage point increase in A1C is associated with an increased risk (8-36%) of heart failure. Researchers suspect that over time, high blood sugar levels either damage the cells of the heart muscles or force the heart to work harder due to damage to smaller blood vessels throughout the body and in the heart – this may be why high glucose levels are associated with heart failure.

Signs, symptoms, and screening

The Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association have identified a number of possible symptoms of heart failure. These include:

  • Shortness of breath during activity or when you lie down
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles and feet, and very rapid weight gain (due to fluid retention)
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing (or coughing that produces pink, foamy mucus)
  • Chest pain if the heart failure is caused by a heart attack
  • Lack of appetite or nausea
  • Confusion or impaired thinking

It is especially important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain, severe fatigue or weakness, rapid or irregular heartbeats with shortness of breath or fainting, or sudden, severe shortness of breath especially if it is associated with coughing up pink, foamy mucus. For CHF especially, seeking timely medical attention is essential.

Talking to your healthcare team is key to making sure you are staying healthy, and it can help identify an early diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, ask your healthcare professional if you can be tested for heart failure. Even if you aren’t exhibiting symptoms, start a conversation about what you can do to stay healthy and prevent future complications.

How do healthcare professionals test for heart failure?

Heart failure is most commonly assessed using medical imaging techniques that allow healthcare professionals to “see” the heart and assess its function. The most common test associated with heart failure is echocardiography (often called an “echo”) which is a non-invasive, painless ultrasound image of the heart. The echocardiogram can show how thick the heart muscle is and how much blood is pumped out of the left ventricle (one of the heart’s four chambers) with each beat. This information can be used to determine whether heart failure involves preserved or reduced ejection fraction.

Other imaging tests include an x-ray, an MRI, and a myocardial perfusion scan. An x-ray can see if the heart is enlarged or if there is fluid in the lungs, two signs of CHF. If your healthcare professional is concerned that there may be damage to the heart muscle or blockages of major blood vessels to the heart muscle, they may recommend an MRI. A myocardial perfusion scan uses a tiny amount of a radioactive substance that allows the heart to be imaged. It can show how well the heart muscle is pumping and areas with poor blood flow. This scan is often done with an exercise stress test (explained below).

In addition to these different imaging techniques, healthcare professionals use exercise stress tests (which measure how a person responds to increasingly difficult exercise) as a measure of heart function, blood tests to check for heart failure-associated strain on the kidney and liver, or an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) test to look at the heart’s electrical activity for signs of a heart attack and to see if the heart rhythm is abnormal.

Before any of these heart tests are ordered, your healthcare team will usually conduct a physical exam to determine what your symptoms are and what tests are needed. It’s important to be honest – your healthcare team needs to know about your lifestyle, including whether you smoke cigarettes, eat a lot of high-fat foods, and are physically active. Be prepared to answer other questions too:

  • When did symptoms begin?
  • How severe are the symptoms?
  • Does anything make the symptoms better or worse?
  • Do you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure?
  • Are you taking any medications, including over-the counter-drugs, vitamins, supplements, or prescriptions?

To learn more about heart failure, including prevention, medication options, and management tips, read “Heart Failure – The Overlooked Diabetes Complication, Part 2: Prevention and Management,” which our team will be updating this summer. You can also check out the Know Diabetes By Heart resources on heart failure.

This article was originally published on June 15, 2018. It was updated in May 2021 by Matthew Garza as part of a series to help people with diabetes learn how to support heart health, made possible in part by the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association’s Know Diabetes by Heart initiative.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

No-Bake Scrambled Egg Chocolate Pudding

This content originally appeared on Sugar-Free Mom. Republished with permission.

My daughter has been eating this pudding for a year now and still has no idea she is eating eggs. I will have to tell her or she will soon find out when she helps me make a reel on Instagram for this scrambled egg pudding! I promise you, that even your most difficult picky eater, will not detect the eggs in this chocolate pudding!

This pudding has 2 eggs per serving, making this a super nutritious way to start the day or break your fast! If you worry the kids will find out it’s made with scrambled eggs and then not eat it, just make this when they are not home. Prepare the recipe as is, separate it into individual servings, and cover. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. The kids will be so excited that you will let them eat pudding for breakfast!

Scrambled Egg Chocolate Pudding

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Scrambled Egg Chocolate Pudding

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This super easy and quick, delicious protein pudding is secretly made with eggs and no one will know! This recipe is ideal if you have family, especially children who don’t like eating eggs.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword pudding
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 163kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs cooked, scrambled
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Confectioners
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Place your scrambled eggs into a high powered blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until completely smooth in texture. Taste and adjust your sweetener if needed.
  • Pour batter evenly into 4 serving glasses and refrigerate until set, about an hour.
  • Store in the fridge covered, for up to 4 days.

Notes

Net carbs: 2g

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 372mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 541IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

No-Bake Scrambled Egg Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles

This content originally appeared on Low Carb Yum. Republished with permission.

Before fat bomb recipes were all the rage, I would whip up some simple cream cheese chocolate balls made with cocoa. Then I’d coat them with a little coconut, nuts, or cocoa powder.

The recipe for these cream cheese truffles is so simple. Plus, I usually have all the ingredients on hand. So I can make them for a quick snack any time.

Because this is such a quick and easy recipe, it’s sure to become a go-to for you too!

Cream Cheese Truffles

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Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles

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These low-carb almond fudge keto truffles are easy to prepare and look fabulous. Coat them in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, or unsweetened coconut.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 truffles
Calories 45kcal

Equipment

  • Food processor or mixer

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream optional – see note
  • cup Swerve Confectioners Powdered Sweetener or Truvia Sweet Complete Confectioners
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract or another flavor extract
  • cocoa powder
  • unsweetened coconut
  • chopped nuts

Instructions

  • In a food processor or mixer, combine ½ cup cocoa powder, cream cheese, cream (if using), and almond extract until well blended.
  • Using a small scoop or spoon, divide the mixture evenly and roll it into balls. Roll balls in the desired topping – cocoa, coconut, or chopped nuts.

Notes

The addition of heavy cream will give a sweeter taste and tone down the cream cheese.

You may want to place the cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before forming it into balls if it’s too soft.

The easiest way to get uniform balls is to use a cookie scoop. It will also help to get the balls perfectly round.

For a smooth mixture, it’s best to use soft cream cheese. To soften it quickly, put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

The original recipe used 3 tablespoons of Truvia, a concentrated granular mix of stevia and erythritol. Since one-for-one powdered sweeteners are more common these days, the recipe changed to use one of those instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Drink to That: How to Safely Consume Alcohol with Diabetes

This content originally appeared on diaTribe. Republished with permission.

By Cheryl Alkon

We’re already thinking about carbs and calories all the time, and adding alcohol into the mix makes things more complex. ­Experts share their best advice on how to safely drink when living with diabetes.

People who choose to drink alcohol typically do so for a few main reasons: to cope with challenges, to be sociable, or just because they enjoy having a drink. But while alcohol may make some people feel more comfortable, drinking can be especially complicated for people with diabetes. If you’re choosing to drink with friends or loved ones, let’s talk about how you can do so safely with diabetes.

First, alcohol is a drug, and it can be highly addictive. If you don’t drink now, there’s no reason to start. In fact, avoiding alcohol is the healthiest choice for people with or without diabetes. Drinking more than is healthy for the body has been linked to issues in the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system and is associated with several kinds of cancer, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Drinking is also connected to other health problems, such as unintentional injuries (car accidents, falls, drownings), domestic violence, alcohol use disorders, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So, with all that said, how can you best manage your diabetes if you choose to drink?

What happens in the body when you drink?

Your liver works to create glucose when your blood sugar levels are low, but it also processes any alcohol present in your body, says Sandra Arevalo, a certified diabetes care and education specialist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. More specifically, “Alcohol gets broken down by your liver. The liver is also in charge of making sugar when your blood sugar levels are low, by converting stored glycogen into glucose, and releasing that glucose into your bloodstream. When you drink, your liver is busy processing the alcohol and has a hard time producing glucose,” she said.

This process “puts people with diabetes at high risk of low blood sugar when they drink,” Arevalo said. “If you are on basal insulin, you may not make enough glucose for the amount of basal insulin you have taken, and you may suffer a hypoglycemic episode.” This applies primarily to people with type 1 diabetes, but people with type 2 diabetes are still at risk for low blood glucose levels when they drink.

What’s in a drink?

That’s a tricky question. What you are drinking and how much of it you choose to drink can make a big difference. Like most things with diabetes, there aren’t simple answers.

According to the CDC, moderate drinking is defined as two drinks or less per day for men, or one drink or less per day for women. The US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends one drink or fewer per day for people of any gender. It is illegal for people under 21 to drink alcohol in the United States.

Drinking

Image source: diaTribe

What does the CDC classify as “a drink?” One drink contains 14 grams, or 0.6 ounces, of pure alcohol, which normally equates to 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or spirits such as gin, rum, vodka or whiskey.

What influences your intoxication?

Several factors – including diabetes medications, food, and exercise – can all make things even more complicated, said Carrie S. Swift, a dietician and spokesperson with the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists. “Overall, alcohol intake leads to less predictable blood glucose whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes,” she said. But “the impact of alcohol on blood glucose isn’t always the same.”

This can be caused by:

  • Carbohydrate content of drinks: Beer and sweet wines contain a lot of carbohydrates, and can increase your blood sugar level despite the alcohol content. On the other hand, quickly cutting down your intake of these drinks, or quickly making the switch to dry wine or spirits, can carry a high risk of hypoglycemia.
  • Diabetes drugs: Insulin and sulfonylurea medications such as glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride – all of which help to lower blood glucose levels – “are more likely to cause low blood glucose when alcohol is consumed,” said Swift. Insulin and alcohol work similarly whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you take metformin, pay attention to these specific symptoms when you are drinking: weakness, fatigue, slow heart rate, muscle pain, shortness of breath, or dark urine. “Excessive alcohol intake while taking metformin may increase the risk of a rare, but dangerous condition, called lactic acidosis. If you have these symptoms – get medical help right away,” she said. There are no specific or predictable ways that blood glucose levels react when taking other oral diabetes medications or GLP-1 medications, Swift added.
  • Food: “If you drink on an empty stomach, you are more likely to experience hypoglycemia,” said Swift. Yet, eating while drinking “may also increase your blood glucose, especially if you eat more than usual or make less healthy food choices when you drink.”
  • Exercise: If you are physically active either before or after drinking alcohol, it can cause your blood sugars to drop and lead to hypoglycemia.

What and how are you drinking?

If you have diabetes and choose to drink, what should you keep in mind?

  • Alcoholic drinks can have as much added sugar as some desserts, so think about what kinds of drinks you are having. “It’s best not to choose alcohol mixed with punches or soft drink mixers, such as Pepsi, Sprite, or Coke, daiquiris, margaritas, or sweetened liquors like Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish Cream,” said Swift. Regular beer and sweet wines are also higher in carbohydrates. “These drinks not only add carbohydrate, but excess calories from the added sugars,” she said.
  • If you have a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), use it. While you are drinking, you can see where your glucose is at all times and if it drops quickly. If you don’t have a CGM, “test your blood sugar more often,” said Arevalo. “Mainly if you are not feeling well, you want to know if your sugar is dropping, or if you are getting drunk. Even though both feel equally bad, you will want to know if your sugars are low so you can correct them quickly.”
  • Never drink on an empty stomach. Instead, “Have a good meal before or during drinking,” said Arevalo. But know the carb count of what you are eating and work with your healthcare professional to determine how to take medication for that meal along with the alcohol you are consuming.
  • Exercise and alcohol can make your numbers plummet. “Avoid drinking while dancing or exercising,” said Arevalo. “Physical activity helps to reduce blood sugar levels, and if the liver is not able to keep up with the production of glucose, the risk of hypoglycemia is even higher.”
  • Have your supplies handy, such as a hypoglycemia preparedness kit. Always bring your blood glucose testing kit and enough supplies for you to test frequently. It’s a good idea to have extra test strips, alcohol swabs, lancets, as well as fast-acting forms of glucose, including emergency glucagon in case your blood sugar level doesn’t come up with food or glucose.
  •  If you take basal insulin in the evening, it’s not an easy answer on what to do if you plan to consume alcohol that evening, said Swift. “Depending on what type of diabetes the person has, and other factors, the results of drinking and taking a long-acting insulin before going out, may contribute to a different result,” she said. If you have type 1 and you take your usual amount of long-acting insulin and then you drink alcohol, “It may contribute to delayed hypoglycemia when drinking too much alcohol,” she said. If you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight or have significant insulin resistance, “Taking your usual amount of long-acting insulin may be a good strategy to avoid high blood glucose numbers,” she said. “No matter what your type of diabetes, frequent blood glucose checking will help you take the right action to avoid high or low blood glucose when choosing to drink alcohol.”
  • If you use an insulin pump or a CGM, make sure you check that they are working properly before you leave the house, without any low-power indicators. If you need to fill your pump with insulin or change out either your infusion set or CGM sensor, do it before you begin drinking or get drunk. As Dr. Jeremy Pettus and Dr. Steve Edelman say in this video, “Protect yourself from drunk you as much as you possibly can.”

It’s important for everyone to avoid getting drunk to the point of not being able to protect yourself. For people with diabetes, this includes protecting yourself from hypoglycemia.

Navigating social situations

If you find yourself in situations where people around you are drinking, or your friends like to party, there are ways to fit in without feeling left out:

  • “It’s okay to choose sparkling water with lemon or a diet soda instead of an alcoholic drink in a social setting,” said Swift. “If you do choose to drink alcohol, have a glass of water, or another no-calorie beverage between alcohol-containing drinks.” It’s also okay to hold a drink and not consume it, if that makes you more comfortable.
  • Tell a trusted friend ahead of time where you keep your supplies, such as your blood glucose monitor or CGM reader, how to get glucose tabs or juice if you need it, and, if necessary, how to give emergency glucagon, either by injection or by nasal inhalation, said Arevalo. It’s also good to have a designated non-drinker in your group, who can watch out for everyone’s safety. And be sure the group you are with knows that the signs of a low blood sugar and the signs of being drunk are the same, said Swift: slurred speech, blurry vision, dizziness, confusion, lack of coordination, irritability, and potentially, loss of consciousness.
  • Make sure you’re hanging out with people you want to be with, and consider where drinking fits in to your health goals and your life. “Friends are only friends if they accept you the way you are and help to take care of you,” said Arevalo. “If you feel peer-pressured to drink, let them know that you have to take care of yourself because of your diabetes. Good friends will respond in a positive way, and will understand and help you. If you want to have a good time and don’t want to keep an eye on how much you are drinking, alert your friends about your diabetes. Let them know where you have your supplies, how to use them, and who to call and what to do in case of an emergency.” Remember, never drive if you (or your driver) have been drinking.

Finally, if you’re going to drink, be smart about it. Always start with a blood glucose level that’s at a healthy, in-range level, sip—don’t chug—your alcohol, and avoid drinking to excess. Your body, your brain, and your diabetes will all be easier to manage once you’re done drinking, either for the evening, the event, or for good.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Alkon is a seasoned writer and the author of the book Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby. The book has been called “Hands down, the best book on type 1 diabetes and pregnancy, covering all the major issues that women with type 1 face. It provides excellent tips and secrets for achieving the best management” by Gary Scheiner, the author of Think Like A Pancreas. Since 2010, the book has helped countless women around the world conceive, grow and deliver healthy babies while also dealing with diabetes.

Cheryl covers diabetes and other health and medical topics for various print and online clients. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and holds an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a graduate degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

She has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than four decades, since being diagnosed in 1977 at age seven.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tomato Bruschetta

This content originally appeared here. Republished with permission.

Date night dinner on the patio! This grilled bruschetta chicken is absolutely out of this world and it’s perfect for a special meal, guests, or a fun and easy weeknight dinner.

Made with marinated chicken breasts, tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, it’s bursting with bright, classic Italian flavors. Best of all, it’s Paleo and Whole30 compatible, and you can make the chicken on the grill, stovetop or air fryer!

I think the most beautiful thing about this bruschetta chicken recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients. They’re classic, fresh, and there’s nothing that brings magic to a dish quite like fresh basil and garlic!

In the summertime, I almost always have everything I need already – especially once my garden is at its peak – but they can all be found at pretty much any grocery store.

Bruschetta Chicken

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Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

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This grilled bruschetta chicken recipe is made with juicy marinated grilled chicken breasts topped with a homemade cherry tomato bruschetta.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword grill, tomatoes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 18 hours 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 514kcal

Equipment

  • Indoor or outdoor grill

Ingredients

Marinated Chicken

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil preferably extra virgin
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1.5 tablespoons red onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil preferably extra virgin
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Marinate the Chicken

  • Set the chicken breasts in a rimmed dish or baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings, and turn to coat the chicken on all sides. Set it aside for 20-30 minutes to marinate, or cover and set in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours.

Make the Bruschetta Topping

  • Dice the tomatoes, mince the garlic, onion, and basil.
  • Optional Step: Lightly sauté the garlic in a small skillet in olive oil for about 3 minutes. This will take some of the harshness out of the raw garlic.
  • Mix the tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Set aside or cover and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Cook the Chicken

  • Grill: Preheat a gas grill to medium heat, about 375°F (~190°C). Set the chicken breasts on the grill, cover, and cook for about 7 minutes without moving them. Gently turn the chicken once, close the grill, and cook for another 7-8 minutes.
  • Stovetop: Heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken breasts and cook 6-7 minutes without moving them. Flip the chicken breasts and cook for another 6-7 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (~177°C). Set the chicken breasts in the air fryer basket with a little space between them. Close and cook for about 10 minutes, then turn the chicken breasts over. Close and cook for another 10 minutes until cooked through.
  • *Note: Cook time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts and heat source. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken breasts has reached 165°F (~74°C).
  • Remove the chicken breasts and set them on a plate to rest about 4-5 minutes.

Assemble and Serve

  • Set the chicken on a plate. Spoon the bruschetta mixture on top of the chicken, then sprinkle with a little more balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, salt to taste, and extra basil.

Notes

To store leftovers: Transfer the leftover chicken and bruschetta to an airtight container or zip top bag. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 1402mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1234IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

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